We reached a major milestone this Tuesday in our pursuit to ensure that Schechter’s future remains firmly on solid ground. As many of you already know, CSS has launched a capital campaign in order to rebuild camp’s infrastructure, renovate buildings that are nearing the end of their functional lives and add new facilities that will improve our overall camping experience!
The centerpiece of the campaign is the new Chadar Ochel (dining hall). We love our current chadar, but, for better or worse, we have outgrown it and it is in dire need of renovations. About a third of the camp currently sits outside in front of the building during meals. The kitchen staff work at a breakneck pace to rekasher our tiny kitchen between dairy and meat meals. The chadar is bursting at the seams with children, food and ruach (spirit). We have grown to the point where we have outgrown our beloved chadar.
We have a small window of time now to make the necessary improvements to our facilities due to new proposed building regulations in the municipality of Tumwater. Much of camp, including the chadar, will be located too close to protected wetlands to renovate, or build on, moving forward. That is one of the reasons why this capital campaign needs to happen now, and it needs to take the next 60 years into account.
Schechter turned 60 last year and, in Jewish tradition, that is halfway to a full lifespan. Of course, organizations often outlive people, and we hope to be shaping generations of Jewish youth for centuries to come. That hope, or goal rather, took a major leap forward on Tuesday with Sam’s exciting announcement of the public phase of the capital campaign and big news about two major challenge matches to CSS.
We are so thankful for the Samis foundation’s amazing challenge matching grant of $1.5M and for Carl & Joann Bianco’s $250K matching gift, as well as all of the other generous gifts that came in during the quiet phase of the capital campaign. We are nearly halfway to our goal of $12M. With a community as enthusiastic and supportive as ours is, we have total faith that we will be able to break ground in 2016 and ensure camp’s future for (at least) the next 60 years to come!
Yasher Koach (great job) Sam Perlin, campaign chairs Corey Salka and Amee Sherer, and all of our supporters in ensuring that Judaism and Joy will flourish in this beautiful location for years to come!
Assistant Director, Camp Solomon Schechter